University of Technology Sydney

48620 Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering

6cp; Forms of attendance and mode of delivery in this subject have changed to enable social distancing and reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19 in our community.
Requisite(s): 48610 Introduction to Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering AND 68037 Physical Modelling AND 33130 Mathematical Modelling 1
Anti-requisite(s): 41054 Applied Mechanics and Design A AND 48321 Engineering Mechanics
Recommended studies:

knowledge of equilibrium of particles and of solving a system of linear algebraic equations is essential for this subject

Fields of practice: Mechanical Engineering major, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering major



This subject builds on and brings together the concepts introduced in the Mathematical and Physical Modelling subjects and in Introduction to Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering. It is intended to provide students with a comprehensive overview of elementary mechanics and lay the basis for further work in this area in later subjects. In particular, material discussed in this subject is taken further in Machine Dynamics and Mechanics of Solids subjects in subsequent stages.

Newtonian mechanics depends on the development of a series of increasingly complex models based on Newton’s Laws of Motion. The purpose of this modelling concept is to set up an orderly development that is conducive to mathematical analysis. The methodology relies on diagrammatically isolating a physical entity (or body) from all constraints or contacts with other bodies and replacing these contacts with external forces. This relies on discriminating between what are defined as internal and external forces. The mechanically isolated body is referred to as a free body diagram. It requires a graphical, diagrammatic or visual approach to problem analysis, unlike other analytical systems, which rely on more sophisticated mathematical analysis.

The topics discussed in this subject include equilibrium in 2D plane and 3D space, force vectors, force system resultants, analysis of pin-connected trusses, characteristics of dry friction, equilibrium of rigid bodies subjected to frictional force, shear force and bending moment diagrams, kinematics and kinetics of a particle, rectilinear kinematics, curvilinear motion, force and acceleration, work and energy, impulse and momentum, and the relationships between them. These comprise the basis of a comprehensive course in Newtonian mechanics.

Typical availability

Autumn session, City campus
Spring session, City campus

Detailed subject description.

Fee information

Information to assist with determining the applicable fee type can be found at Understanding fees.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.